Thursday, August 12, 2010

It Means What You Want It To

Hey Homies,

Let's talk about music this week. I love music. I think I love it as much as I love breathing, only I hope there is music after I stop breathing. Like a of the afterlife which will have songs to help me adjust to not having a body and sleeping on rainclouds. You know what I mean.


Let's get on with the story.

It Means What You Want It To

My junior year of college, I lived in a suite with three other girls; two girls per room. I lived in one room with my lesbi-bestie, Arla (we were the gay room although we didn't really know it at the time) and our straight besties, Toga and Piper, lived in the other (the straight room). We basically had an open door policy between the two rooms. We also had one or two friends who were permitted to visit whenever they liked. Mae was one of those friends.

You may remember that I went to a woman's college, so by junior year there was a lot of sexuality exploring going on around my campus. At the time of this tale, Mae was basically dating her first girl and I'd also ended up a dark corner or two with a few classmates.

For some reason, that year everyone listened to the Indigo Girls. I don't know why; maybe they're more accessible than Ani Difranco. Either way, the Indigo Girls were the musical artist that gay girls and straight girls alike shared.

One night, Toga, Mae and I were sitting in the suite jamming out to every lesbian's favorite Indigo Girls' song, Closer to Fine. You can hear it here. I was a little bit drunk and curled up on a bed noshing down a hamburger while Toga and Mae sang along with the track. Suddenly, Toga halted and said, "You know, I love this song, but what does it even mean?"

Mae thought for a second. "It means, coming out of the closet."

Toga restarted the song. "You think so?"

Mae sang along for a bar or two before responding. "Yeah. Listen, 'I went to the doctor. I went to the mountains.' You know, it's like going to the doctor because you're gay and he can't fix it. Then you go to God and he doesn't fix it. And you realize the less you worry about it and just be who you are, the more okay you'll be."

Toga nodded, "The Indigo Girls are lesbians, so that would make sense. I'm going to look this up." Toga then proceeded to fire up her laptop and log onto

"Yeah," Mae said, scooting closer to the computer. "It just makes sense."

"And you're coming out of the closet right now so you would know," Toga agreed. "Oh look, people on the site are saying it's about how you can't figure out who you are by turning to other people."

Mae pointed, "And the gay thing! There's the gay thing."

I finished my hamburger and looked at my friends. "Hey guys?" They both turned to look at me. "Maybe it's about how we should just live life and not worry about things. You know, because that distracts us from living."

Toga spoke first. "Yeah, I could see that."

"I think that's an easy surface meaning. But deeper it's about coming out." Mae said.

Toga quoted, "'The best thing you ever did for me, was to help me take my life less seriously; it's only life after all.'" We all stopped to think for a minute. "It could go either way," Toga finally decided.

"Yeah I guess," I quipped. "If you want it to be about your coming it out it could be about that."

"Whatever," Mae said, choosing not to argue. "Music can mean different things to different people. You can stick to the obvious meaning. I still say it's about coming out."

I shook my head, "It's kind of a stretch."

"It means whatever you want it to mean!" Mae asserted.

Toga turned up the speakers and began the song over again. "Everyone sing along!" She shouted.

So we did.


Today's points:
(1) Songs, like art, mean whatever the hell you want them to mean.
(2) If you spend all of your time worrying about life, you won't have time to enjoy it.
(3) The sooner you come out of the closet the closer you'll be to fine.

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